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CHSS is not able to advise you whether it is safe for you to fly. As everyone is affected differently by chest, heart and stroke illness you might want to speak to your doctor to discuss any concerns or risks regarding your fitness to fly.
If you have any concerns about your fitness to fly you should contact your airline’s medical department before you intend to travel. This will allow your fitness to fly to be assessed and medical clearance obtained if necessary before you travel. It will also allow the airline staff to help you with early boarding and in-flight care if required.
You may need to obtain medical clearance if:
To determine whether you are medically fit to fly, you and your doctor will need to complete a Medical Information Form (MEDIF). This form can usually be found online on your airline’s website, or you can contact your airline’s medical department or your travel agent to get a MEDIF form. The completed form should be sent to your airline well in advance of your travel date.
If you need any special medical provision or assistance, your airline may also ask you to complete an Incapacitated Passengers Handling Advice (INCAD) form; sometimes the INCAD and MEDIF are two parts of the same form. INCAD and MEDIF forms are only valid for one journey.
If you travel frequently you could look into getting a Frequent Traveller’s Medical Card (FREMEC)from your airline’s medical department. It contains important medical information and replaces forms that previously had to be completed for each flight. Once you have registered, the airline’s reservations office records details of your requirements so that special assistance can be provided whenever you person fly. If you plan to travel with a different airline you should check if they will accept your FREMEC card.
Once you are given the ‘green light’ you can start to look at whatever assistance you need to help you have a safe and comfortable flight.
If possible, try to think in advance about what help you may need when travelling and make any special arrangements with your airline, travel agent or tour operator. Ideally arrangements should be made when you book your flight. However, if you need help from airport or airline staff at any stage of your journey, you should always request this at least 48 hours before you fly. If you are making a last-minute booking then your airline should make a ‘reasonable’ effort to provide you with assistance.
Some things to consider in advance are:
When flying, you may be sitting still for a long period of time. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot which can sometimes occur as a result of this inactivity, especially during a long-distance flight. Encouraging your circulation and avoiding dehydration will give you the best protection against blood clots forming.
The following simple measures will help reduce the risk of DVT
Some people have a higher risk of developing DVTs (for example if you have a history of heart disease or stroke). Speak to your doctor about what measures you may need to take before flying. This may include graduated compression stockings, aspirin or anticoagulants.
The following links provide further information about air travel with chest, heart and stroke conditions.
Air Travel with a Chest Condition:
Air Travel with a Heart Condition:
Air Travel after a Stroke:
If you have any questions related to air travel with a chest, heart or stroke condition please contact the CHSS Advice Line Nurses on 0808 801 0899 (free from landlines and mobiles) Monday to Friday 9:30-4 pm or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Airport Guides Network provide information to travellers who use the UK’s many airports, the Heathrow Airport Guide supplies information on what to consider if you are flying with a medical condition.